A painting by Josef Albers, titled Modified Repetition, dated 1943.

Josef and Anni and Ruth and Ray

David Zwirner is pleased to present Josef and Anni and Ruth and Ray as the inaugural exhibition at the gallery's 34 East 69th Street location. Featuring work by Josef Albers, Anni Albers, Ruth Asawa, and Ray Johnson—all of whom were at Black Mountain College in North Carolina in the late 1940s—this exhibition will explore both the aesthetic and personal dialogue between these artists during their Black Mountain years and beyond; and will include a number of works exchanged amongst the group, in addition to a selection of key compositions influenced by their time there.

Josef and Anni Albers arrived at Black Mountain College in 1933, both having studied and subsequently taught at the Bauhaus for nearly a decade. It was through the Alberses that the pedagogy of the famed German art school, which espoused ideals of radical experimentation and an open interchange of ideas, was imported and adapted in their new setting. As Asawa recalls, Josef Albers would open his Basic Design course by saying, "Open your eyes and see. My aim is to make you see more than you want to. I am here to destroy all your prejudices. If you already have a style don't bring it with you. It will only be in the way"—in essence paraphrasing the aesthetic philosophy that came to define Black Mountain College as a progressive and avant-garde institution in those years. Johnson arrived as student in 1945, and Asawa subsequently in 1946—both quickly availing themselves of the Alberses's guidance, which was particularly unexpected in the case of Johnson, whose nontraditional approach contrasted with the older artists' formal rigor.

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Join Nicholas Fox Weber, Executive Director, The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation for a guided tour of the exhibition on Saturday, October 28, 11 AM
RSVP to Hannah Chinn at hchinn@davidzwirner.com

For more information about available works contact inquiries@davidzwirner.com

Installation view of the exhibition Josef and Anni and Ruth and Ray, at David Zwirner in New York, dated 2017.
Installation view of the exhibition Josef and Anni and Ruth and Ray, at David Zwirner in New York, dated 2017.
Installation view of the exhibition Josef and Anni and Ruth and Ray, at David Zwirner in New York, dated 2017.
Installation view of the exhibition Josef and Anni and Ruth and Ray, at David Zwirner in New York, dated 2017.

Featuring archival photography and interviews with former students, teachers, and historians, Fully Awake: Black Mountain College (2008) is a documentary film by Cathryn Davis Zommer and Neeley Dawson exploring the development of a unique experiment in arts education. With a radical approach to creative learning espoused by Josef and Anni Albers, Black Mountain College provided a formative environment for its students, among them Ruth Asawa and Ray Johnson.

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Caption Text
A photograph of Anni and Josef Albers at Black Mountain College by Theodore Dreier, dated 1949.

Josef and Anni Albers at Black Mountain College, 1949. Photo: Theodore Dreier. Courtesy The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation.

Josef Albers teaching, Black Mountain College, c. 1948. Photographer unknown. Courtesy The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation.

Anni Albers: Notebook 1972–1980 is a facsimile of the only known notebook compiled by the artist. This previously unpublished document follows Albers's progression as a draftsman and includes intricate drawings related to her large body of graphic work, as well as studies for the late knot drawings. With an afterword by Brenda Danilowitz, Chief Curator of The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation. Forthcoming from David Zwirner Books

A cover of the publication titled Anni Albers Notebook 1970-1980.

Anni Albers: Notebook 1970–1980  
A drawing by Ruth Asawa, titled Untitled (BMC.85 Dogwood Leaves), dated 1946 to 1949.

Ruth Asawa

Untitled (BMC.85, Dogwood Leaves), c. 1946-1949
Oil and watercolor on paper
10 1/2 x 8 inches (26.7 x 20.3 cm)
A drawing by Josef Albers titled Leaf Study 1, dated circa 1940.

Josef Albers

Leaf Study I, c. 1940
Leaves and colored paper
9 1/2 x 18 inches (24.1 x 45.7 cm)
A sculpture by Ruth Asawa, titled Untitled (2.264, Hanging Two-Lobed, Continuous Form), dated 1949.

Ruth Asawa

Untitled (S.264, Hanging Two-Lobed, Continuous Form), 1949
Hanging sculpture—oxidized copper wire
16 x 4 x 4 inches (40.6 x 10.2 x 10.2 cm)
A work on paper by Ruth Asawa, titled Untitled (SF.047a, Potato Print [Blue and Black Cross]), dated 1951 to 1952.

Ruth Asawa

Untitled (SF.047a, Potato print [blue and black cross]), 1951-1952
Ink on Sumi-e paper
14 1/4 x 10 inches (36.2 x 25.4 cm)
A work on paper by Ruth Asawa, titled Untitled (SF.045B, Potato Print Branches[Brown/Orange]), dated 1951 to 1952.

Ruth Asawa

Untitled (SF.045B, Potato print branches [brown/orange]), 1951-1952
Ink on paper
14 1/4 x 10 1/4 inches (36.2 x 26 cm)
A work on paper by Ruth Asawa, titled Untitled (SF.049a, Apple Print - red/blue/yellow/orange), dated 1951 to 1952.

Ruth Asawa

Untitled (SF.049a, Apple Print - red/blue/yellow/orange), 1951-1952
Ink on newsprint
8 1/2 x 15 inches (21.6 x 38.1 cm)
A work on paper by Ruth Asawa, titled Untitled (SF.049a, Apple Print - red/blue/green/orange), dated 1951 to 1952.

Ruth Asawa

Untitled (SF.049e, Apple Print - red/blue/green/orange), 1951-1952
Ink on paper
12 x 18 inches (30.5 x 45.7 cm)
A work on paper by Ruth Asawa, titled Untitled (SF.045B, Potato Print Branches, Purple/Blue), dated 1951 to 1952.

Ruth Asawa

Untitled (SF.045c, Potato print branches, purple/blue), 1951-1952
Ink on paper
14 1/4 x 10 1/4 inches (36.2 x 26 cm)
A drawing by Ray Johnson, titled Christmas Trees, dated 1957.

Ray Johnson

Christmas Trees, 1957
Collage on cardboard panel
17 3/4 x 21 3/4 inches (45.1 x 55.2 cm)
A drawing by Ray Johnson, titled Untitled (Magenta Cut Paper Moticos), dated 1958 to 1960.

Ray Johnson

Untitled (Magenta Cut Paper Moticos), c. 1958-1960
Collage on illustration board
10 7/8 x 7 1/8 inches (27.6 x 18.1 cm)
A textile by Anni Albers, titled Black-White-Gold 1, dated 1950.

Anni Albers

Black-White-Gold I, 1950
Cotton, lurex, and jute
25 x 19 1/4 inches (63.5 x 48.9 cm)
A collage by Josef Albers, titled Leaf Study III, dated circa 1940.

Josef Albers

Leaf Study III, c. 1940
Leaves and colored paper
18 x 18 5/8 inches (45.7 x 47.3 cm)
A painting by Ruth Asawa, titled Untitled (BMC.129, In and Out), dated 1946 to 1949.

Ruth Asawa

Untitled (BMC.129, In and Out), c. 1946-1949
Oil on paper on board
7 x 19 inches (17.8 x 48.3 cm)
A painting by Ruth Asawa, titled Untitled (BMC.90, Arrows), dated 1946 to 1949.

Ruth Asawa

Untitled (BMC.90, Arrows), c. 1946-1949
Oil on paper
19 x 12 inches (48.3 x 30.5 cm)
A painting by Josef Albers, titled Modified Repetition, dated 1943.

Josef Albers

Modified Repetition, 1943
Oil on Masonite
15 1/2 x 25 1/2 inches (39.4 x 64.8 cm)
A painting by Josef Albers, titled Color Study (Variant/Adobe), dated 1948.

Josef Albers

Color study (Variant/Adobe), 1948
Oil and graphite on blotting paper
19 x 24 inches (48.3 x 61 cm)
A drawing by Anni Albers, titled Design for a 1926 Unexecuted Wallhanging, undated.

Anni Albers

Design for a 1926 Unexecuted Wallhanging, n.d.
Gouache and pencil on reprographic paper
15 1/8 x 9 7/8 inches (38.4 x 25.1 cm)
A drawing by Anni Albers, titled Drawing for a Rug I, dated 1959.

Anni Albers

Drawing for a Rug I, 1959
Ink and pencil on paper
24 5/8 x 9 7/8 inches (62.5 x 25.1 cm)
A drawing by Ray Johnson, titled Untitled (Motico, William D. Bayles), dated 1955.

Ray Johnson

Untitled (Motico, William D. Bayles), 1955
Collage
12 1/2 x 7 1/8 inches (31.8 x 18.1 cm)
A framed drawing by Ray Johnson, titled Untitled (Motico, Cowboy Two), dated 1955.

Ray Johnson

Untitled (Motico, Cowboy Two), 1955
Collage
12 1/4 x 5 inches (31.1 x 12.7 cm)
A drawing by Ray Johnson, titled Untitled (Motico, Odiferous Wood), dated 1955.

Ray Johnson

Untitled (Motico, Odiferous Wood), 1955
Collage
12 x 8 3/8 inches (30.5 x 21.3 cm)
A painting by Ray Johnson, titled Calm Center, dated 1949 to 1951.

Ray Johnson

Calm Center, c. 1949-1951
Oil on board in artist's frame
28 5/8 x 28 5/8 inches (72.7 x 72.7 cm)
A drawing by Ray Johnson, titled Untitled (Moticos with Red Ground), dated 1958.

Ray Johnson

Untitled (Moticos with Red Ground), 1958
Collage on cardboard panel
11 1/8 x 7 1/2 inches (28.3 x 19.1 cm)
A framed drawing by Ray Johnson, titled 14 Squares, dated circa 1946.

Ray Johnson

14 Squares, 1956
Collage on cardboard panel
20 1/4 x 15 inches (51.4 x 38.1 cm)
A sculpture by Ruth Asawa, titled Untitled (S.461, Hanging Singled-Lobed, Five Layers of Spheres), dated 1954.

Ruth Asawa

Untitled (S.461, Hanging Single Lobed, Five Layers of Spheres), c.1954
Hanging sculpture—iron wire
15 x 21 x 21 inches (38.1 x 53.3 x 53.3 cm)
A drawing by Josef Albers, titled Study for Graphic Tectonic (Ascension), dated 1941.

Josef Albers

Study for Graphic Tectonic (Ascension), 1941
Ink and graphite on paper
22 1/8 x 17 1/8 inches (56.2 x 43.5 cm)

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